Nov 3, 2009

The International Justice Mission

We're part of this. Our class level, education, technology, even interest level - as signified by our participation in the International Communication program at American University in Washington, D.C. almost in essense garuantees that we are part of this interest group.
So what does that mean? How does this impact the future?
Castells etc., Bennett and Juris all examine the underlying framework of 'global justice movements', with some looking more particularly at actually how these movements have impacted society. They discuss the mobilization of various diverse groups into a 'hydra' model of global movements.
However, I suppose my question is, is how does this relate to McChensey's pessimistic view of the global media encouraging political apathy? Is this transformative mobile, online political networking a reaction to the saturation of commercial media with under or overpoliticized content (which leds to a sense of detachment) or is it simply the outgrowth of politically driven youth and interests mobilizing new technologies more aptly than said other media?
On one hand, this is a moot point, but on the other, it speaks to the goals of citizen education and whether media itself needs to be transformed (absorb these differences as part of a realization on alternative consumerism - that people do want more diverse news) or this form should supplant current forms.
Getting back to my main question, Juris is very optomistic about these networks being the 'labortories' for a new form of democracy. But Castells etc. make a very valid point about the limited reach of these networks, particularly in speaking about the impact of mobile phones. There are a diversity of goals, missions and populations, but they tend to share a similiar socio-economic status, with the values that tend to inform that class. Even experts are starting to make the observation that socio-economic status is more fractitous than racial differences. (This is of course influenced by cultural context to a lesser or greater degree.)
Castells et co. illustrates this divide in the divergence between the PP II and the Poor People movement - the corruption charges by the PPII are disputed by the Poor Peoples as patronage. (There's a very similar situation going on in Thailand - the urban areas are claiming the rural aren't educated enough to make correct political decisions, even though the rural are the majority.)
Are we sure enough that we are looking out for their best interests? How do we deal with this lack of representation, especially when 'they' have different even contrary concerns? How do we prioritize our own goals even as we are 'liberated' from ideological conformism? Is this another form of the 'white man's burden' - the educated liberal person's burden?
Is our 'international justice mission' righteous enough to deal with this pressure?

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